Economy & Resource Trends Generate Demand for Steel Buildings

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Metal Structure Concepts sees an increase in pre-engineered steel buildings being used for lumber, mining and even medical marijuana facilities in Western Canada

As Western Canada sees a peak in prices for commodities and looks to legalize others, like marijuana, the demand for steel buildings is skyrocketing.

The demand for steel buildings is skyrocketing as Western Canada sees a peak in prices for commodities.

Stringent regulations promoting green and energy-efficient buildings is also contributing to steel demand, especially in industrial structures.

Those who work in Western Canada’s steel building industry are noticing a trend in the resource-based economy: When wood, oil, gas, and mineral mining industries are doing well, steel also does well, and vice versa. With the position of Canada’s dollar and mill production and other commodities on a high, Meteal Structure Concepts has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for steel buildings.

After a slow building season last year due to the slump in oil production in Alberta, Steve Ivanitz, owner of Metal Structure Concepts (MSC), a Kelowna-based company which designs and builds pre-engineered and structural steel buildings across Western Canada, says he has noticed an increase in the demand for steel buildings from the lumber and mining industries this year.

“Forestry is doing quite well because of our dollar. Regionally, we are seeing a number of mills expanding in BC and all the mills are built from steel. In that way, wood and steel work together, although we can sometimes be seen as competing entities in the building trade,” said Ivanitz.

Ivanitz has also seen an increase in queries about pre-engineered steel buildings from another growing resource sector in Western Canada: the medical marijuana industry.

This comes about from changes made by the Government of Canada to the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, now known as the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which has set out a new framework for the commercial production by licensed producers to grow and sell marijuana for medical use purposes.

“With the federal rules and licensing changes, we are seeing a massive influx of people who want to start building in the fall,” said Ivanitz. “There is a need for buildings such as big warehouses and we are getting calls daily from random places around BC that are interested in using steel to build those buildings.”

Overall, MSC has seen a resurgence in the demand for industrial and commercial buildings all over Western Canada, including up north, and there seems to be no slowing down in the industry on a global scale.

According to a June 20 report by Grand View Research, the global steel market is expected to reach USD 1.01 trillion by 2025, and that growing market is attributed, in part, to building contractors looking to build via sustainable, low-cost, and durable building materials.

“Technological advancements have made pre-engineered metal buildings with high structural integrity a reality, where steel plays an essential function in lending stability, aesthetic appeal and design flexibility,” reads the report. “Stringent regulations promoting green and energy-efficient buildings is also contributing to steel demand, especially in industrial structures.”

The cost and time it takes to build with steel are other factors, adds Ivanitz.

“It’s economical as a steel building is affordable. If you were to look at the same size building framed in wood, the steel one would also go up that much faster,” he said.

In addition, with the technological advances in steel production, pre-engineered steel buildings and structural steel buildings do not rot, rust, twist or warp and they are non-combustible.

“Because of building codes and some of the setbacks that can occur, most people want steel for those reasons. Also, with the size of the building, you can’t get too big of a clear span or go a great distance in floor space with wood. Steel is more versatile that way,” said Ivanitz. “You can’t build a hangar at the airport with wood.”

Ivanitz also attributes the boost in demand for MSC’s services to the fact the company supplies pre-engineered steel buildings from the design concept right up to installation, without having to contract outside the company.

“We provide that value-added service and are willing to service any market in any location,” said Ivanitz.

Besides an increase in steel buildings serving the forestry and mining industry, MSC has also seen an increase in the demand for storage units.

“Usually we only see one or two built annually, but right now we are building three-to-four storage facilities, including a mini-storage unit in Nelson, BC and we are doing three more buildings there this year, a mix of mini storage and regular shop style. We are also working on the expansion of Kicking Horse Coffee in Invermere, BC. Our work is varied all over the province and throughout Western Canada.”

About Metal Structure Concepts (MSC):
Since its inception in 2002, MSC has been designing and erecting pre-engineered steel buildings across Western Canada and beyond. By combining a talented team of in-house designers with highly trained field workers, MSC carries out installations to rigorous standards guaranteeing a professional product that looks, performs and lasts exactly as intended. MSC creates innovative steel building plans to suit any industry or application, including industrial, commercial, mini-storage, retail, agricultural, and community-multi-purpose.


For more information, contact
Steve Ivanitz
Owner, Metal Structure Concepts

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